Traveling With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? One kind is Packed with activities the whole time. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be remembered for years to come.

The other kind is all about relaxing. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These types of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.

Everyone has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Your vacation can be ruined by hearing loss

Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no clue they have it. They just keep turning the volume on their television up and up and up.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to reduce the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? There are actually a few ways as it turns out. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Here are some common instances:

  • You can miss important moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience may be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to contend with a language barrier. But untreated hearing loss can make it even more difficult to understand voices (particularly in a noisy setting).

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and decreased. Which means the best way to keep your vacation on track and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you start.

If you have hearing loss, how can you prepare for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be enjoyable and fairly stress-free. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is obviously practical travel advice.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure hearing loss doesn’t negatively impact your next vacation:

  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can introduce some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re not so likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart idea.
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries quit. Remember to bring some spare batteries. Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on the airline. You may be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Before you go out to the airport, there are a number of things about flying with hearing aids you should certainly be aware of.

  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You won’t need to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. Having said that, telling the TSA agents you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really loud place, swimming, or showering.
  • Can I use my hearing aids on the plane? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements could be difficult to hear so make sure you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This device is specially made to help individuals who have hearing aids hear their surroundings better.
  • Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to become familiar with your rights before you travel. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it amounts to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
  • Will my smartphone be helpful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! Once you land, you can utilize this device to adjust the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right type of hearing aid), find directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to utilize your phone in this way.

Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.

That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a disaster.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by having your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (chilling on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.

Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.